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its my immigrant mother and i again from rhode island


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this is the first thread i put in (down below) and now i need some additional help please!!!


this is how the whole situation happened...

me and my mom were planning a trip to spain for my cousins wedding. my mom went to see a travel agency (dk travel) in woonsocket (the city we reside in) on october 2nd, 2004 and the travel agent found 2 tickets for my mom. the tickets in total with the tax came to $1378.00 she put a deposit of $200.00 to hold the plane tickets until she fully decided what she was going to do and the money was to be due on thurs. oct. 7th 2005 in full if she was going to get the tickets.

me and my mother decided that we were not going to be purchasing the tickets so we called her oct. 9th (saturday) to tell her to forget about the tickets, but the travel agent said "no you have to come in to get the tickets its already paid for" but my mom never went in to give her the money. the travel agent decided to purchase the tickets with her own money without authorization from my mother. stupid huh?

i went in to speak with the travel agent that following thursday and told her that we did not owe her the money because we never decided that those were the tickets we wanted. she said to me that she took her own money to pay for it thinking that we were definately going to get the tickets and were going to reimburse her for it. i said to her "my mom never told you to get the tickets" and she responded with "since your mother was a repeat customer i thought that i was doing a favor for her" and i said that she did not do a favor for my mother and how can she have so much trust in her customer and again she said since my mother was a repeat customer she thought she was doing a favor for her. i was shocked that this woman would take her own money without my mother's authorization to pay for the tickets. she even had the nerve to ask me for money for the tickets. i was soooooooooo pissed off...i threw a dollar at her and asked her if she wanted my quarters also. as i was sitting there i called my mom and i quote "how can you do business with such a stupid a** b****." the travel agent sat there staring at me like the stupid woman she was.. i was heated and stormed out of there. on the itinerary that the travel agent printed at the bottom is clearly states: TRAVEL INSURANCE IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ALL FARES ARE NOT GUARANTEE UNTIL PAID IN FULL RATE AT 14378.00 TOTAL WITH ALL TAX. i figured since we never authorized her to pay for it we are not responsible for the purchase..and if WE didn't pay in full its not possible for us to even get the tickets. my mom also understood the extent of the penalty would just be the loss of the initial 200 dollar deposit in which she paid...

a few months fly by and she tries to send up letters which we dont' pick up at the post office. i know its letters asking for money...finally she went to a collection agency and had them send us a letter. we disputed the amount and now they summoned us to court...i'm so confused on what to do now...after researching the website it says that i should write an answer letter???? the summons delivered on july 14 2005 and my cousin gave it to me since my mom wasn't home and i got home first..it says i must answer within 20 days after the service of the summons exclusive of the date of services

also...my mother doesn't speak good english, we're laotian, but the catch is that the travel agent is also laotian so there was no language barrier..and we don't have much money for lawyers and whatnot so i've been looking for the non profit oranganization lawyers...my mom is ready to give up and not put up a fight..but i can't help but wanna fight this..

and another thing...alot of the older laotian immigrants go to this woman for airplane tickets because she speaks laotian and i know that she rips them off and she takes advantage of them...so i really wanna tell her whats up!!!



i answered the summons and i brought it down to the court and i initially asuumed that since it was like under $1500 that it would automatically be in small claims court...but when i went to file the answer they directed me to the civil case area...what's the difference between these two???? does that mean we definately need a lawyer??? i've looked into a couple lawyers already and they all charge an arm and a leg..and i also looked into pro bono lawyers but pretty much all of them don't do cases like this and there are certain restrictions that my mother doesn't make in order to get a pro bono lawyer...

many people in my city told me that this woman ripped them or someone they know off...but no one is willing to come to court or write a letter because they don't want to get in this miss...she's used other people's credit cards to purchase tickets for herself...she also does income tax returns and has ripped people off by getting them small refunds..and im assuming she's pocketing their money somehow...

i also have another question.....i didn't know in my dispute letter and my answer letter that i could ask them to validate the debt...can i still send them a letter validating the debt??? my mother didn't sign any contracts or even have a verbal contract and i'd like to see this travel agent produce documents showing that she did...and if i can send her attorney a letter to validate the debt..can i get this case dismissed even before it goes to trial????

i also heard about something called Discovery??????? i tried to look up the laws rhode island and i couldn't find anything on the states law website...it was title 9 chapter 18 or something...and there was nothing about discovery unless i missed something...????

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE...I'M BEGGING SOMEONE HELP...I'VE BEEN SICK TO MY STOMACH AND UNABLE TO SLEEP AT NIGHT BECAUSE OF THIS WHOLE THING... :oops: i've been handling all of this on my own since my mother wouldn't know what to do...its all becoming too much for me..but i don't want to give up!!

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Ok, You are going to get a crash course in the legal system, don't worry. It is only hard the first time.

IMHO, you DO NOT want to be in small claims. Small claims judges are idiots. Small claims clerks are idoits. The whole thing is a mockery of the court system.

CIVIL court is where I sue you because you did something to harm me, as opposed to CRIMINAL court, where the DA, state, or whatever is suing you. No big deal there.

Lawyers, (present company excluded) are largely pieces of horse poo as you have quickly found out.

You can send them a letter asking for validation of the debt, but that will come in discovery.

Discovery is where you kinda show your cards to each other. Imagine, if there wasn't discovery, I could sue you for something and you could walk into court completely unprepared with no idea what you are being sued over. Not exactly fair.

There are rules, timeframes, and such on how discovery goes. Bury them in it. Read your rules of civil procedure to figure this stuff out.


You should dream about how you are going to dance the tango on this women's grave in court.

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I do live close to a large city, I know of at least one office here where para-legals will help. I never used the service, but it is my understanding that they can help file an answer to a law suit so on and so forth.

Check in your yellow pages under para legal and see if you can find anything. It won't be free, but shouldn't cost much compared to what an attorney would charge.

If you can find a para legal to help, he/she will help you file papers with the court.

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